Bill would give states bigger role in closing nuclear power plants

Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) has introduced a bill to provide states with more authority in the shutdown of nuclear power plants.

Several nuclear power plants are expected to be decommissioned in Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Wisconsin and Vermont over the next decade. Welch said the legislation was necessary to ensure state entities would be included in decisions to close nuclear power plants, and review the environmental and economic implications.

ADVERTISEMENT
"States hosting nuclear power plants should have a seat at the table during the decommissioning process," Welch said in a statement.

The measure would require nuclear plant operators to consult with state and local governments within 50 miles of a plant before submitting a decommissioning plan to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It would also direct the NRC to make a decision to close or keep open every proposed decommissioning project.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.